“Squishing” into a tight rental housing market: Family status protections for tenants

This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of Landlord BC’s magazine called The Key.

Robbin Abernathy is the mother in a family of six.[1] Like many families in BC, she has struggled to find appropriate rental housing for her family.

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Human Rights Tribunal decision provides important remedies for resort workers

In March of this year, a lawyer with the Human Rights Clinic, Dan Soiseth, represented a group of nine former employees (the Complainants) at a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing against their former employer, Spruce Hill Resort and Spa Ltd. (the Resort) and Kin Wa Chan (together, the Respondents) [1]. On October 24, 2018, the Tribunal issued their decision finding that the Respondents discriminated against the Complainants on the basis of race and colour, and in the case of one Complainant, on the basis of sex.

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Accommodating mental health – breaking down the stigma

A recent decision[1] of the BC Human Rights Tribunal emphasizes the need for service providers to accommodate individuals with mental health issues. The case involved the alleged denial of service by a BC restaurant to a person with mental illnesses. The customer alleged that he was denied service because his therapy dog was accompanying him.

The BC Human Rights Tribunal ultimately dismissed the complaint for a lack of evidence. Nevertheless, Tribunal Member Devyn Cousineau recognized the stigma and social isolation experienced by those with mental health issues, such as the customer, in order to "offer a window into how a person with a mental illness might be deprived of the opportunities to participate fully in public life."

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Equality in Hiring – When are interview questions discriminatory?

Applying for a job can be an exciting and stress-inducing time. The stakes are high for job applicants – their literal livelihood may depend on the outcome. We all want to make a good impression and be evaluated on the skills and experience we bring to the job.

However, research shows that sometimes, unfair biases and stereotypes may influence the hiring process. In one study, applicants with Asian names were much less likely to be called for interviews than people with Anglo-Canadian names. In another poll, half of Canadians said it’s acceptable for an employer to screen out disabled applicants as too risky to hire; Racialized people, people with disabilities, and other groups protected from discrimination by BC’s Human Rights Code may therefore worry about being unfairly filtered out of the job competition due to irrelevant characteristics.

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Tenants and medical marijuana: Rights and responsibilities

This article was originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of Landlord BC’s magazine called The Key.

With marijuana legalization on the near horizon, landlords need to be aware of their obligations under BC's Human Rights Code. There are situations where human rights laws may make it unlawful to end a tenancy because the tenant is growing or using marijuana in their unit.

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Childcare: A Human Rights Issue

Many BC parents will be familiar with the difficulties of accessing quality, affordable childcare in this province. Wait lists are long, costs are high, and there are simply not enough spaces for all the kids who need them.

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Creating Inclusive Workplaces through Accommodation

This article was originally published in Visions magazine, BC’s Mental Health and Addictions Journal.

Under Canadian human rights law, employers have an obligation to adjust workplace rules, policies and practices that have a negative impact on employees or job applicants with disabilities. In other words, employers have a duty to accommodate disability in the workplace. An employer’s failure to accommodate an employee or job applicant’s disability may result in a claim of discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code.

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Accommodating right means accommodating rights!

This article was originally published in the Spring 2018 issue of Landlord BC’s magazine called The Key.

As landlords, you’re in the business of providing accommodations. You provide homes for all sorts of people every day – that’s your job, and you know it well. But did you know that when you’re providing rental accommodations to your tenants, you also have what’s known in human rights law as a “duty to accommodate”?

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Our Workshops:

Preventing, Investigating and Responding to Workplace Sexual Harassment

Legalized Marijuana: Is your workplace prepared?

Human Rights in the Workplace: An Overview for Employers

Addiction in the Workplace: Employers' Duties under Human Rights Law

Accommodating Employees with Disabilities: Employers' Duties under Human Rights Law

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